Ag Weather Forum

Very Dry Late-Summer

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
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The past 60 days have been unfavorable for rainfall in a large majority of central, northern and northwestern crop areas. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

The last half of the meteorological summer season was certainly not one for a general round of rain. Much of the Midwest -- along with the far Northern and Southern Plains, the northwest and far western U.S. -- had far-less-than-average precipitation. The Appalachian Mountains through New England were dry, as well.

Here's how the U.S. Drought Monitor summary described things for the first full week of September for the Midwest and the Northwest (which in this summary includes the far Northern Plains):

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MIDWEST: Dryness continued across a swath of the central Midwest, leaving locations in Iowa with deficits of about 4 to 10 inches over the last 90 days. Streamflow and soil moisture continue to fall well-below normal and satellite vegetation indicators depict the stress on vegetation. Accordingly, Iowa saw small expansions in moderate and severe drought in the south, abnormally dry conditions in the east-central region, and abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought in the northeast. Meanwhile, locally heavy rainfall brought minor improvements to the abnormally dry depiction on Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

NORTHWEST: Hot, dry weather continued across much of the Northwest, causing conditions to deteriorate in many locations as rainfall deficits increased and hot weather dried out vegetation. Many locations in the region have experienced a record-breaking 80-plus days without rain over the last three months. The dry conditions have fueled wildfires across the region, prompting public health warnings because of decreases in air quality. Changes include an expansion of severe and extreme drought in central Montana and the introduction of moderate drought in eastern Washington and western Washington and Oregon. Conditions also deteriorated in southern Idaho and the Upper Colorado River Basin as rainfall deficits grew and streamflow fell below normal. Southern Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and western Colorado saw expansions in abnormally dry conditions while eastern Utah and northwest Colorado also saw an expansion of severe drought.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

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